The world is experiencing a huge refugee re-settling problem. Many countries including Australia are spending billions of dollars but without any satisfactory outcome. Most people in this world, by nature, would like to live in their land of birth and continue to improve their standard of living. Of course, many countries haven’t got much natural endowments to achieve that dramatically.
It is my view that most of the conflicts in these countries have stemmed from fear of being oppressed by a powerful majority group of their land of birth because of difference in religious and political beliefs. But above all, it is poverty that is driving them to his situation. Natural disasters have also contributed to this problem. We can try to stop them coming. We might be successful for a while but it is bound to bounce back. They are desperate people.
I have a suggestion. If the G-20 countries provide outright aid to these countries – @ two or two-and a half per cent of their military budget – in agriculture, small scale industries, education and health for the next 25 years, the refugee problems will not only be reduced, it might come to an end. All development works should be done under the auspices of the United Nations.
This aid budget will be a fraction of the amount we are now spending to look after displaced people in Europe, Canada, America and Australia. The defence budget of G-20 countries is running over $1.5 trillion per year. In the next 25 years it will cost the G-20 countries about one trillion dollars in providing aid to the troubled nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But it could make a huge difference to our world.
– Sankar Chatterjee, CLA member, Canberra